Your central timezone turns out to be timeless

Douglas Harding

Whether alive or not things invariably take time to be what they are, Thus an atom is not an atom until its electrons are given long enough to sweep out their orbits. Thus a human being is not a human being until he or she has had time to progress through and incorporate many drastic transformations, in the course of his or her history as an embryo and fetus and then as an infant and child. None of this amazing past is wiped out by the present. A notable time-binder, a human includes his or her entire history, and acts now with all that history at his or her back.

Now if, in total contrast to your peripheral human nature, your own true and fundamental nature – what you are at center, in and for yourself – is indeed just Empty Space or Bare Capacity or Absolute Stillness then you need no time at all to be yourself. Having nothing here to body forth or build up or maintain, presumably you have here no use for time, and accordingly are timeless.Douglas Harding

Not only are things out there – unlike you, presumably – compounded of time, but they are arranged in time zones according to their distances from you. Your wristwatch indicates that, a foot or so away, such and such is the time there. And you have good reasons for supposing that in New York and Tokyo and other places the timepieces are registering other times.

Now the question is: what time is it exactly where you are, at the center of all these time zones? You find out in the normal way, by consulting the local timepieces.

Having read off the time it shows a foot away, very slowly and attentively bring it towards you while continuing to read off the time, till it will come no nearer. Isn’t it the case that those printed numerals soon blur, then become illegible, and in the end disappear altogether? That, in fact, your central timezone turns out to be timeless? That time, forever eccentric, can never get Home to you? That whereas you contain time along with the world it builds it can never contain you? That the law of Asymmetry applies here as always, and it’s time there to no-time here. Naturally so, seeing that as First Person you are no-thing, and where there is no-thing there’s no change, and where there is no change there’s no way of registering time – there’s no time.

Again, since the issue is precisely a life-or-death one, I must ask you to overcome your reluctance to conduct so ‘unnecessary,’ so ‘silly’ and ‘childish’ an experiment. Isn’t it possible – even probable – that until you become like a little child you will never enter the Kingdom, will never leave the time-ruled realm of death for the deathless realm?

Excerpted from ‘The Little Book of Life and Death’. Douglas Edison Harding (1909-2007) was English philosophical writer, mystic, spiritual teacher and author

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